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Mycorrhizae Plant roots and fungi. Mycorrhizae Widespread interactions between fungi and plant (primarily vascular plants) roots For angiosperms, gymnosperms,

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Presentation on theme: "Mycorrhizae Plant roots and fungi. Mycorrhizae Widespread interactions between fungi and plant (primarily vascular plants) roots For angiosperms, gymnosperms,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mycorrhizae Plant roots and fungi

2 Mycorrhizae Widespread interactions between fungi and plant (primarily vascular plants) roots For angiosperms, gymnosperms, ferns and some mosses – mycorrhizal association appears to be the norm Range over broad spectrum of interactions –Fungus parasitizes plant –Plant parasitizes fungus –Most cases – mutualistic – both benefit

3 Types of mycorrhizae Ectomycorrhizae (ectotrophic, sheathing) – hyphae of fungus do not penetrate cells of plant root Endomycorrhizae – hyphae penetrate cells of plant –Arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) – aseptate hyphae, most widespread –Septate hyphae Ericoid, Arbutoid & Monotropoid – plants are Ericales Orchid – plants are orchids

4 Ectomycorrhizae Most conspicuous and easily recognized Best characterized Plant roots are enclosed by a sheath of fungal hyphae – fungal mycelium penetrates between cells in cortex of the root Fungal tissue may account for up to 40% mass of root Hyphae also extend out into the soil – extramatrical hyphae

5 Ectomycorrhizae Contains a fungal sheath Parenchyma of root cortex is surrounded by hyphae – Hartig net

6 Ectomycorrhizal root

7 Ectomycorrhizae Absorbing roots are those that are affected Become thicker and repeatedly branched after infection

8 Ectomycorrhizae

9 Ectomycorrhizae Symbionts 2000 plant species – primarily temperate trees and eucalyptus Major species of coniferous and deciduous trees Rare to find uninfected trees In some trees, the association is obligate, in others facultative Mycorrhizal association important in forestry

10 Ectomycorrhizae Symbionts Basidiomycetes – Agaricales (many mushroom species), Lycoperdales, Sclerodermatales, few Aphyllophorales –Pisolithus tinctorus – used to form commercial inoculum for nursery trees, common in southern pine Ascomycota – Pezizales – cup fungi and truffles Over 5000 species of fungi have been shown to form ectomycorrhizae

11 Specificity of association Great deal of variability Most tree species form mycorrhizal associations with a number of different fungal species May have different mycorrhizal fungi on roots of one plant Some fungi are fairly specific and will form associations with only one plant species – these mushrooms are common in stands of that tree Others are not specific

12 Specificity Douglas fir has been extensively studied and ca 2000 species of fungi have been identified from its roots In forests, a high percentage of fruiting bodies are mycorrhizal fungi

13 Occurence

14 Methods for detection Census of fruiting bodies produced by different species Soil cores – separate and identify mycorrhizal roots by morphology, Hartig net Recently molecular methods have been used to identify the fungi present in mycorrhizal roots – e.g. RFLP

15 Ectomycorrhizal fungi Can also grow saprotrophically Many have been cultured Most that have been studied do not have the capability to degrade complex plant polymers (e.g. cellulose and lignin) Depend on soluble carbohydrates Many have organic growth factor requirements – vitamins, amino acids Not decomposers but depend on plant

16 Benefits to fungus Provided with source of C and energy Plants provided with 14 CO 2 demonstrated that 14 C appears in fungus Sucrose from plant converted into trehalose, mannitol by fungus Estimates that up to 10% (or more) of photosynthate produced by trees is passed to mycorrhizae and other rhizosphere organisms

17 Benefits to trees Numerous studies have shown that tree growth is better when mycorrhizae are present

18 Benefits to trees

19 Fungi increase supply of inorganic nutrients to tree P is insoluble in most soils Extramatrical hyphae extend over a larger volume of soil than roots can – increase ability to absorb insoluble nutrients such as P

20 Extramatrical hyphae

21 Volume of soil explored

22 Benefits to trees Plant hormones produced by fungus changes the physiological state of roots – physiologically active root area for nutrient and water absorption is increased Increases tolerance of plant to drought, high temperatures, pH extremes, heavy metals Increases resistance to infection by root pathogens – provides a physical barrier

23 Ectomycorrhizae Mutualistic symbioses – both organisms benefit from association Currently, seedlings in nurseries inoculated with fungi so that when planted, they will have better chance of success

24 Arbuscular mycorrhizae AM – much less known about these associations than about ectomycorrhizae Appear to be the most common type of mycorrhizal association with respect to the number of plant species that form them Found in species in all divisions of terrestrial plants – widely distributed in annuals, perennials, temperate and tropical trees, crop and wild plants Estimated to occur on 300,000 plant spp.

25 Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi All are in the Zygomycota in the Glomales – or newly proposed phylum Glomeromycota Include ca 130 species in 6 genera All are obligate biotrophs Form large spores that superficially resemble zygospores, but not formed from fusion of gametangia – azygospores or chlamydospores Spore diameters range from 50 to 400 μm

26 Spores

27 Arbuscular mycorrhizae Fossils of spores found that are as old as first land plants – 460 mya

28 Specificity Few species of fungi and many species of plants – very low specificity One fungal species may form association with many different plant species Much different than biotrophic parasites that have a limited host range

29 Morphology Root morphology is not modified To detect, must clear and stain root to observe fungal structures Fungi form both intercellular and intracellular hyphae Intracellular hyphae analogous to haustoria – called arbuscules – tree like branching pattern Thought to be site of nutrient exchange between fungus and plant

30 Arbuscules Surrounded by plant cell membrane Typically disintegrate after ca 2 weeks in plant cell and release nutrients Thought to be site of nutrient exchange

31 Vesicles Intercellular hyphae may also form large swellings – vesicles – at ends of hyphae or intercalary Typically rich in lipids & thought to be involved in storage

32 AM

33 Arbuscular mycorrhizae Not as well characterized as ectomycorrhizae Root is not altered in morphology – difficult to determine when roots are infected – must clear and stain followed by microscopic examination Fungi are obligate biotrophs – cannot be grown in axenic culture – so difficult to conduct experiments

34 Interaction Fungus receives organic nutrition from plant – since they are biotrophs, don’t know what their requirements are Fungus produces extramatrical hyphae that take up inorganic nutrients from soil – particularly P, may also supply N as they may produce proteinases Increase drought tolerance – many common desert plants are heavily mycorrhizal May also increase resistance to root pathogens

35 Effect of AM Growth of plants that are infected better – particularly if soil is poor in nutrients

36 Other types of mycorrhizae Orchids – orchid seeds are very small and do not contain enough organic reserves to allow development of the plant Must be infected soon after germination – fungus provides seedling with carbohydrates Basidiomycetes involved in this mycorrhiza are litter decomposing species of Rhizoctonia, Armillaria that produce cellulases

37 Orchid mycorrhizae Fungi are widely distributed outside the symbiosis – some are plant pathogens, others are saprotrophs Appears to be a delicate balance between plant and fungus Orchid keeps fungus in check by digesting intracellular hyphal coils, production of antifungal substances so fungus doesn’t kill the orchid

38 Orchid mycorrhizae Not clear about benefits to fungus – may obtain amino acids and vitamins from orchid

39 Ericoid mycorrhizae Plants are Ericaceae – Erica, Vaccinium - heathland plants Fungi are Ascomycota and Deuteromycota Form loose network on surface & hyphal coils inside epidermal cells of hair roots where nutrient exchange is thought to take place Shown to supply N to plant – fungi secrete proteinases

40 Arbutoid mycorrhizae Plant are also Ericaceae – Arbutus, Arctostaphylose, Pyrola Fungi are basidiomycetes that also form ectomycorrhizae Fungi form sheath and Hartig net, hyphae also penetrate outer coritcal cells

41 Monotropoid mycorrhizae Plants are nonchlorophyllous – Monotropa Fungi are basidiomycetes – boletes that form ectomycorrhizae with other plants (conifers) Plant depends on its mycorrhizal fungus - for its organic nutrients as well as inorganic nutrients

42 Mycorrhizae Key components of ecosystems Link plants within a habitat Labelled CO 2 fed to tree can be found in seedlings growing nearby Retain and conserve mineral nutrients


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